Diezani’s N14Bn Jewellery Suit Adjourned To Sept 10

Justice Nicholas Oweibo of the Federal High Court Ikoyi, Lagos on Monday, further moved to September 10, 2019 the ruling on the final forfeiture of Diezani Alison Madueke’s jewellery and a customized gold iphone all valued at $40M (N14 billion).

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) had on July 5, 2019 secured the interim forfeiture of 2,149 pieces of jewellery and a customized gold iPhone belonging to Madueke, a former Minister of Petroleum Resources.

Meanwhile, the court had called on parties involved to show cause as to why the properties should not be finally forfeited to the Federal Government.

Madueke, however, accused the Commission of entering her apartment illegally and taking the items without any court order.

At Monday’s sitting, the prosecution counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, prayed the court for the final forfeiture of the jewellery.

Oyedepo showed the court the search warrant detailing all the items recovered at the respondent’s premise.

He also informed the court that “at this stage of the proceeding, what is expected of the respondent is to present credible evidence as to the source of the property sought to be forfeited.

The respondent has failed to show how she acquired the mind-blowing jewellery with a legitimate income.

Instead “they sought to claim that some of the items were gifts but did not disclose the giver,” said Rotimi.

Prosecution counsel also argued that the respondent did not declare the assets in the Asset Declaration form and it was an attempt to conceal the items.

He further urged the court not to ascribe any privatize value to the deponent’s counter affidavit as the facts deposed to were not in the knowledge of the respondent.

“From the failure of the deponent to show how the jewellery were gotten, I urge you to hold that the respondent has failed to show cause why the properties should not be forfeited to the Federal Government”.

The defence counsel, Nnamdi Awa-Kalu had earlier in the proceedings urged the court to dismiss the application and its contents.

He prayed the court to disregard it in its entirety, on the grounds that the arguments were mere speculations.

Awa-Kalu also argued that the court lacks jurisdiction to order the forfeiture of he properties.

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